Here's the other movie I watched on HBO while on vacation, that I seriously don't get the seeming universal admiration of:
Ok, I get the humor in a clueless slacker trying to fit it. I get the oddball cast of characters. I even get the Montana/Utah/Morman-esque society where everything is a little behind the times and little more sanitized than the rest of the country.
It was mildly amusing, I laughed in a couple of spots.
But it was certainly no Ferris Bueller, and not even a Better Off Dead or One Crazy Summer (both Savage Steve Holland movies, who made some great quirky teen comedies in the 80's). I could sense it almost trying to be a SSH movie, but never quite making it over the hump.
For one thing, the leads in the previous movies (Matthew Broderick, John Cusack) were much stronger actors than Jon Heder, and their characters were much more likeable, believable and identifiable.
When your main character's a hopelessly lost kid who stands around mumbling all day, occasionally gets angry over mundane things, and can't muster an emotional reaction above the occasional grunt....um, sorry, not buying it.
Apparently this guy has become a slacker cult hero. If this is what people are identifying with as a hero these days... oh boy.
I'm sure I'll hear from Napolean-philes out there, telling me how wrong I am - it's ok, I can take it :)